How to Choose Which KPIs to Measure in a UX Benchmark
Determine which UX KPIs fit best with current business objectives.
The beautiful thing about UX benchmarking is all the choices it offers to companies. Not only can they conduct UX benchmarking on a great many things – prototypes, desktop sites, mobile sites, native apps, even competitor’s sites – but there is a wide variety of usability metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can be tracked as well.
This presents a new challenge for companies looking to liberate actionable insights from their benchmarks – which KPIs should be measured and tracked in their UX benchmarks? We’ve put together a few tips and examples to point you in the right direction.
Get a baseline understanding of how your product is performing
Different companies will be at different stages of implementing UCD and optimizing the UX of their sites/apps, which means they will have different benchmarking objectives.
If companies are conducting preliminary benchmarking as a means of quantifying UX for the first time, then they will want to track KPIs that offer a baseline view of their digital product. What this does is allow for a starting place where teams can look at the metrics and decide which areas need to be improved upon.
The four essential KPIs to measure and track baseline performance are Task Success Rates, Time on Task, Unique Page Views and Clicks.
Task success rates allow you to gauge how effectively your users and customers are able to complete the core tasks they came to do. Time on task allows you to measure how quickly or efficiently they’re able to complete these tasks. Unique page views and clicks gives you insight into how users are traversing your site or app and whether or not the taxonomy is helping or hindering their search.
There are, of course, many more different kinds of KPIs to track but this is a great place to start.
Further refine your goals
Once a baseline benchmark has been measured there will be weaknesses and strengths. Depending on how companies address these areas they will have different benchmarking objectives. Clearly defining these objectives and tying them to business goals is the key to choosing the right KPIs to track.
Based on our research team’s experience we were able to draft a few examples of common business objectives and which KPIs to benchmark:
- Are current business goals focused on increasing registration rates? Measure time-on-task in the registration flow
- Increasing sales or signups? Measure task success rates, satisfaction with experience, # of clicks to complete a purchase, or likelihood to purchase
- Decreasing customer service calls? Measure effectiveness of Help or FAQ content
Our researchers also had some more general advice to keep in mind when it comes time to choose which KPIs to track during a UX benchmark:
- Lean toward KPIs that can be easily tied to, and presented with, other regularly reported business metrics or analytics data (to give your KPIs maximum visibility)
- Choose a cadence and a period over which they will be measured (for 1 year, 2 years, etc.)
- Have hypotheses about the direction you expect KPIs to move, and then check your hypotheses as you go
Selecting KPIs to track in a benchmark study, or any study, can be tricky. Choosing the most impactful KPIs is a science and an art that requires big-picture thinking and insightful analysis into problems and solutions. But with a little practice, and some good advice, you’ll be a KPI expert in no time.
Toni Allen — Sr. UX Researcher
Toni has over 20 years of experience in roles focused on UX, User Research, Product Management and Marketing and has helped hundreds of companies realize the benefits of using remote testing platforms to gain powerful insights quickly and cost-effectively.
Ann Rochanayon — Sr. Director UX/CX Research
Over 13 years of experience in management and conducting online studies, including mobile and international studies in a variety of industries.
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